We are running our very first Game Design Challenge. This is a process meant to encourage people to have a go at creating their own games, ready for publication. Here are the really broad details. They will be refined and defined after GenCon Oz (early October, hopefully).

Purpose: to encourage and support people in their process of game design. Nurture a network of Australian designers.

Objectives: participants are to have a new, play tested, edited, polished game to share at GenCon Oz 2010. Games are NOT judged, participants “win” by completing the task (a bit like the NANOWRIMO event). Earn “Stars” by completing objectives. Stars grant you bragging rights!

Rules: designers are to notify of their intent to participate anytime prior to GenCon Oz 2010. (Either by emailing organizers or posting to the Google Group.) Participants are free to participate in conversations / posts as often or as little as they like.

Your Game

At this stage the main rules are that your game cannot have been created prior to September 18th 2009 (you can have ideas, just not a game) and must be completed by GenCon Oz 2010.

Inspiration (taken at random from

If you really want to get involved but don’t even have an idea yet choose one or more of the following Inspirations to… inspire your game’s theme, concept or background. It isn’t compulsory (we don’t want to stop you participating if you already have a great idea!) but might be fun if you can some how work the inspiration into your game.

  • Eureka!
  • Yarn
  • Eclipse
  • Chromosome
  • Gipsy
  • Ball



Set yourself goals or limitations and earn bragging rights! When you meet certain criterion you can claim yourself STARS – just announce to the world (and probably the google group, too) what STAR you are claiming and why. This is pretty much working on the honesty system here and as the community grows I am sure people will point out when you have missed an opportunity to claim a STAR, and keep you honest when you need it!

It would be great if we could get an artist, graphic designer or other talented individual to design little icons for each STAR that people could stick in their forum signatures or the like. (Hint! Hint!)


Game STARS (based on Monopoly playing pieces!)

  • Iron: create a game that requires the folding of paper, character sheets or other items.
  • Wheelbarrow: create a game about resources and/or resource management.
  • Dog: create a game where all the characters are animals.
  • Cannon: create a game that requires coordination, aiming or targeting.
  • Car: create a game about travelling, road trips or the modern motor vehicle.
  • Hat: create a game that requires the wearing of one or more (real or metaphoric) hats.
  • Boot: create a game that requires the movement of players.
  • Battleship: create a game about the sea.
  • Thimble: create a game about home, family or domestic situations.


  • Dreamtime: Complete new game, presented at GenCon Oz 2010.
  • Digger: Run game at minimum of 2 different conventions / clubs / social events (GenCon Oz 2010 counts).
  • Boomerang: Sought out and received feedback from “blind playtest” group.
  • Opal: Reviewed and edited by someone other than the writer/designer.
  • Cobber: Worked in collaboration with another designer.
  • True Blue: Your game has a distinctly Australian theme or feel.
  • Cooee: Get someone other than a participant to discuss in detail your game on a blog or podcast.
  • Ned Kelly: Game utilises at least one of the inspirations.
  • Eureka!: Game combines two or more inspirations in an unusual, unexpected or outrageously entertaining way.
  • Crikey!: Game includes, in a significant way, all six inspirations.
  • Tall Poppy: Achieves 10 or more STARS.

 That’s it! Check back here soon for updated and clarified information.


6 Responses to Challenge

  1. Peter Blake says:

    Here’s a link to the Stockade Google Group.

  2. Nathan says:

    Thanks for putting that link up Peter.
    I have made a couple of changes to this page. The main one was to change the text about Inspirations so they are NOT compulsory. After the Game Design Round Table at GenCon Oz, and seeing so many cool ideas already being developed, I didn’t want to put restrictions on them or anyone else that already had a cool idea. The main purpose of the Inspirations was two-fold; (a) to give people a starting point and (b) as a “pass code” to ensure people hadn’t created the game prior to the commencement of the challenge. I don’t know if we need the second bit. Instead, I have added some more STARS for people that use the inspiration.
    I would love to hear other people’s suggestions.

  3. Pingback: Getting Started « The Stockade

  4. Sounds good. Sign me up.

  5. Nathan says:

    Excellent James, head on over to the google group (there is a link in the sidebar) and announce your project. Send Andrew or myself (or the whole group) a link to a blog if you have on, too.

  6. Pingback: Getting Started | The Stockade

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